Shane Carruth‘s Upstream Color

Shane Carruth, Upstream Color, 2013, HD video, color, sound, 96 minutes. Kris (Amy Seimetz) and Jeff (Shane Carruth).

SOME MOVIES ARE SO SENSORIALLY and emotionally resonant that when one leaves the theater, the on-screen world seems to persist, skewing one’s relationship to sights and sounds, space and time. After I saw Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, I felt as if I had acquired a crucial secret of which passersby, crowding against me in rush-hour Times Square or glimpsed at a distance through subway windows, were pitifully unaware. They didn’t know how porous our bodies and psyches are, how easy it would be for another person—or the state, or the culture—to evacuate what you think of as yourself, leaving you vulnerable to the unimaginable. For example, you could discover that a surgery, of which you have no memory, has made it impossible for you to carry a child to term. Nevertheless, you might be able to experience the bliss of the maternal dyad by cuddling a piglet who shares your

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